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Sundance Film Festival Appoints Funa Maduka As Only Nigerian Juror

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January 24, (THEWILL) – Nigerian filmmaker, Funa Maduka, has been named one of the 16 jurors that will grant awards at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, United States.

She is the only Nigerian on the entire juror’s list.

The festival, which kicked off on Wednesday and lasts until 29th January, is taking place in Utah, United States.

The award-winning filmmaker is one of the three jury members of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, alongside Shozo Ichiyama and Annemarie Jacir.

She is also a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds a BA from Cornell University and a Master’s from Harvard Business School.

The 16 jurors will grant the awards for feature and short films, which will be announced on Friday, 27th January.

Other Jurors of the 2023 edition are Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for US Dramatic Competition.

While W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez would be on the jury for US Documentary Competition.

Also, Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau are the jurors for World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Lastly, Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section and Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman, for the Short Film Program Competition.

Maduka is the former head of International Original Films at Netflix, where she worked with the world’s top global and emerging filmmakers.

Over six years, she was positioned at the frontline of the company’s global expansion, managing the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries.

The New York filmmaker also pioneered Netflix’s move into international film production, building a development slate across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Her talent in film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

Previously, she worked at Participant Media, developing and managing campaigns for film and television projects.

She is credited with writing, producing and directing the first Nigerian film to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.